These contractual arrangements, in which the parties form an unincorporated business but otherwise remain independent, steadily have become more common since 2004, when 15 percent of hospitals had joint ventures with physicians.

According to the 2011 American Hospital Association Annual Survey, most of the hospitals are affiliated with a health care system and nearly 80 percent are located in urban areas. Midsize hospitals (100–299 beds) represent the largest percentage of joint venture participants, and most are nonprofit organizations.

The most common type of hospital-physician joint ventures are ambulatory surgical centers, followed by imaging centers, limited service hospitals (cardiac, orthopedic, surgical or other specialties), and other facilities such as sleep labs, cardiac catheterization labs and bariatric centers.

For more information about AHA data, call (866) 375-3633.

Coming in May: Electronic Health Records
Trustee will provide a peek at the latest data on EHR adoption across all types of hospitals.